The Evolution of Cities


DCI’s Roger Heeringa (Principal, President); Tom Xia (Principal, Technical Advisor); and John Tessem (Principal) recently attended the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2018 conference in Dubai.

This year’s focus, “Polycentric Cities: The Future of Vertical Urbanism,” explored the trend of single-core cities evolving into multi-core business districts. In other words, “several cities within a city” which embrace high density, well-planned infrastructure and civic functions to support the “new normal” of 10 million+ inhabitants.

“What struck me the most was that by 2050 the world population may reach 10 Billion and 70% of the people will live in urban centers,” said Heeringa. “So polycentric urban centers are the only answer.”

With 45 countries and nearly 1,300 in attendance, the conference prompted international dialogue on the topic, a conversation DCI continues back home.

“Polycentric centers must be connected by infrastructure, certainly transportation but also sufficient water, sewer and electricity,” Heeringa added. “Each center must be mixed-use and include employment, housing, retail, schools, and so on, and each one needs to be able stand on its own.”

This combination of high-rise with residential, retail, office and even institutional components creates an opportunity for structural design that capitalizes on multi-functional efficiencies without sacrificing individual project standards.

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